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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

1. Did Christ the Son of God become man? Yes: forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, Heb. 2:14. Was it requisite he should become man? Yes: for in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, Heb. 2: 17. Has the Son of man the fulness of the Godhead? Yes: for in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col. 2: 9. Has the Son of God the tenderness of a man? Yes: for he was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, Heb. 4:15.

2. Did Christ take unto himself a true body? Yes: A body hast thou prepared me, Heb. 10:5. Was it a body like unto ours? Yes: for he was in the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom. 8:3. Did he take to himself a human soul? Yes: for he said, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, Matt. 26:38.

3. Was he conceived by ordinary generation? No: for he said, Ye are beneath, I am from above, John 8:23. Was he conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost? Yes: the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, Luke 1:35. Was he born of the Virgin Mary? Yes: the Scripture was fulfilled, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, Matt. 1:23. Was his conception and birth supernatural? Yes: that which was conceived in the Virgin Mary was of the Holy Ghost, Matt. 1:20. Yet was he really and truly man? Yes: for he is not ashamed to call us brethren, Heb. 2:11.

4. Was Christ the seed of the woman? Yes: for he was made of a woman, Gal 4:4. Was the Scripture therein fulfilled? Yes: for the seed of the woman must break the serpent's head, Gen. 3:15. Was he the Son of Abraham? Yes: for he took on him the seed of Abraham, Heb. 2:16. Was the Scripture therein fulfilled? Yes: for it was said to Abraham, In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, Gen. 12:2. Was he the Son of David? Yes: Hosanna to the Son of David, Matt. 21:9. Was the Scripture therein fulfilled? Yes: He hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of all his holy prophets, Luke 1:69,70.

5. Was Christ born in Bethlehem? Yes: To you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, Luke 2:11. Was he born among the Jews? Yes: of them as concerning the flesh, Christ came, Rom. 9:5. And was it the honour of that nation? Yes: he was the glory of his people Israel, Luke 2:32. Did he come when the Messiah was expected? Yes: they then looked for redemption in Jerusalem, Luke 2:38. Did he come when the sceptre was departed from Judah? Yes: for then there went out a decree that all the world should be taxed, Luke 2:1. Did the angels attend him at his birth? Yes: there was a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, Luke 2:13.

6. Was the Redeemer born in sin as we are? No: he was without sin, Heb. 4:15. Was he perfectly pure and holy? Yes: That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, Luke 1:35. Was he pure aud holy in his whole life? Yes: he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 1 Pet. 2:22. Was it requisite he should be so? Yes: such a High Priest became us, that was holy, harmless, and undefiled, Heb. 7:26. Could he have satisfied for our sin, if he had had any sin of his own? No: for he must through the eternal Spirit offer himself without spot, Heb. 9:14.

7. Was he subject to the sinless infirmities of our natures? Yes: he was in all points tempted like as we are, Heb. 4:15. Was he hungry? Yes: when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungered, Matt. 4:2. Was he weary? Yes: Being weary with his journey, he sat on the well, John 4:6. Did he sleep? Yes: when the ship was covered with waves he was asleep, Matt. 8:24. Did he pass through the ages of human life? Yes: for Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, Luke 2:52.

8. Was the Redeemer willing to be incarnate for us? Yes: for when he cometh into the world, he saith, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God, Heb. 10:5, 7. Is it well for us that he was so? Yes: for by this will we are sanctified, Heb. 10:10. Was Christ's incarnation great condescension in him? Yes: for hereby he was made a little lower than the angels, Heb.2:9. Was it a great honour to our nature? Yes: What is man that thou art thus mindful of him? Heb. 2:6-8. Is it good news to mankind? Yes: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1:15.

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